Name of your business:
Mix and Mingle (Website: www.mixandmingle.in)
Tell us about your business…
Mix and Mingle was created to fulfill Mumbai’s need for a fresh outlook on its social scene, particularly for the discerning singles crowd. It provides an opportunity for singles to meet new people and expand their social network in a safe environment-something that can be challenging for those who have a demanding job, are new to the city, or just simply reserved.
What motivated you to start your own business?
My business partner Jemma and I, were in between jobs when we thought of the idea of Mix and Mingle. We were friends even before we started the company, and used to go out a lot to various events, lounges, bars and clubs. We noticed that the average age group of people who were on a night out were quite young. We thought of organizing an event that specifically catered to singles 30 years and up. It is generally harder to make connections at this age when many of your friends have either gotten married, have kids or moved away. Also we knew quite a few single people in their 30’s and wanted to bring them together in a fun and relaxed environment.
Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?
Although the mindset of single people is changing over the years, many are still intimidated by the idea of attending a singles event. They still feel that it’s safer and more comfortable to meet someone either through their friends, family or parents. Some singles feel that attending a singles event means putting yourself out there and possibly looking desperate.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We have been trying to change the mindset over the years by providing a comfortable, safe space for like-minded people to meet. We make it a point to screen everyone who attends our events to avoid having people who do not belong in such an event. In our monthly newsletter, we try to address issues that single men and women face and suggest tips on how to tackle these issues. We have also started organizing workshops on different topics related to singles. We realize that it can be difficult for singles in Mumbai since we constantly face criticism or judgement from family or friends if you are not married at a certain age. We wanted to create a space where they feel safe, they are not judged and they can actually be themselves and meet like minded people.
How did you find your first customers?
We find our customers through Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, Instagram and also word of mouth. Many of our clients like attending our events and recommend their single friends to do the same.
What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?
Social media. We are present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Meetup.
What is the most exciting part of running your own business?
1) I can be my own boss and I am not answerable to anyone. 2) I can find my own work and life balance. 3) l can choose people I want to work with. 4) I can challenge myself. 5) l can connect with my clients. 6) I can follow my passion
What is your least favorite part of running your own business?
My least favorite part of business is routine back end work, updating database, following up with payments, following up with clients before the events to make sure they are going to attend our events.
How do you stay motivated during difficult times?
By keeping my head up high. The toughest challenge can help us grow the most. Appreciate and be grateful and if you want something you can make it happen.
Who inspires you?
My mother –she is a reiki master and spiritual healer. She helps me to stay positive at all times.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?
Follow your heart. Your heart will lead you to the place you are supposed to be and if you really truly believe in something, you will make it happen. But you have to believe in it, because you live it and breathe it each day. If you are not passionate about it and you don’t love it, it’s going to present a lot of challenges especially when you get to the hard stuff.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Reema!